Christchurch Airport appoints head of new tourism project

Respected South Island tourism operator Dave Hawkey is about to begin work on a special project at Christchurch International Airport.

Mr Hawkey last year resigned as chief executive of Real Journeys, based in Te Anau, but from late February will work on a project tentatively called South, highlighting the airport as a central player in bringing visitors into the South Island.

"Christchurch International Airport is the entry point to the best New Zealand has to offer, which makes it a central player in New Zealand's number one industry - tourism," says CIAL Chief Executive Jim Boult. 

"The South Island offers stunning scenery, amazing attractions and fantastic hospitality. Visitors spend more time and more money in the South Island, which are very important factors in the recovery of Christchurch.

"Delivering on much-promoted promises to overseas visitors of New Zealand being full of snow-capped mountains, fiords, beautiful lakes and friendly people is only possible in the South Island.

"We understand the airport's increasingly important role as the gateway to all that. The airport team continues to help achieve that deliverable to our overseas visitors … hence the reason for South".

Dave Hawkey says he is keen to get home and get started.

"I loved my ten years at Real Journeys," he says. "It is a great company with great people, but I'm thrilled to be returning to Christchurch and its airport to work on this important project.

"South is hugely exciting. We want to bring together the very best of the South Island - people, scenery and experiences - and unite them to give every visitor an unforgettable experience".

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